Challenge and Learning

In today’sIndependent , Howard Jacobson makes a very cogent point:

‘Study is meant to make you feel at sea.  The self is not a precious entity that must be soothed and eased at every turn.’

He rails against a culture that demands self-validation rather than challenge.  And he is right.  If you want to change behaviour in the classroom or the workplace, you have create a bit of discomfort and a sense of a new way of looking at the world.  The end result is almost inevitably worth the effort.  Yet I have just come from an organisation where there is anxiety about delivering more of the learning online as some of ‘the older staff’ will find it difficult and, maybe, even threatening.  I say ‘good,’ let them be challenged but put the support there and try to make the experience as positive as possible and create some incentives for taking a great leap forward.

There is ample room in most organisations for every single person to be discomfited to some extent, from the Chief Executive downwards.  And those programmes that avoid any challenge will be less memorable and less successful than those that attempt to build it in.  Trust me, try it.

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